Independent Minds, Working Together

War Perspectives in Russian Cinema the Focus of next Faculty at Large Lecture

Peter Pozefsky to speak about competing political and wartime perspectives in Russian films on Nov. 8

October 25, 2012 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — Peter Pozefsky, associate professor of history at The College of Wooster, will present “Russia’s World War II: History on Film” at the third and final Faculty at Large lecture of the fall semester on Thursday, Nov. 8. The presentation, which is free and open to the public, begins at 11 a.m. in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.).

“The talk will look at the way World War II is depicted in Soviet Cinema,” said Pozefsky. “The focus will be on competing perspectives on the war in Russian films of the post-war period. Particular attention will be paid to the way that the popular memory of the war was shaped by Soviet politics, in particular by the conflict between Stalinist and anti-Stalinists.”

Anyone with an interest in world cinema or the history of World War II will find this presentation appealing. “The memory of this war differs greatly between America and Russia, and this fact will be outlined in the talk,” said Pozefsky. “These differences, which are, in part, a result of very different wartime experiences and ideology, emerge quite clearly on film.

“The memory is different because the experience of the war was so different,” added Pozefsky. “Some (of the) differences that will be explained more thoroughly at the lecture include the experience of Russians fighting at home while most Americans fought abroad; the deprivations and casualties suffered by each side; and how the censorship imposed by Stalin and his successors sometimes altered information presented to Russian citizens, unlike American media and film coverage of the war.”

Pozefsky, who joined Wooster’s faculty in 1994, specializes in Russian history, contemporary Russia, European thought, cultural history, and global history. He received his A.B. from Harvard University (1984), and his M.A. (1986) and Ph.D. (1993) from the University of California at Los Angeles. He was a Fellow at the Russian State Humanities University in 1993-94 and at the J. Paul Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities in 1991-92. His current research focuses on representations of Russian history in film.

Wooster’s Faculty at Large lectures will resume next semester with a presentation from Daniel Bourne, professor of English at Wooster, on Feb. 21. Additional information about the Faculty at Large lecture series is available by phone (330-263-2576) or e-mail.